History and Government
The origin of the name “Pidigan” is not well known. Some old people of the municipality say that at first, the site of the Poblacion was then called “Bantay Lugnac”. Later, the places' name became “Pidpideg” which became Pidigan. It was called Pidpideg when one time a group of people went down the river below the place in bamboo rafts and were brought close to the rocks on the riverbanks by swift current. Describing the event, the word Pidpideg came about, an Ilocano term which means "forced close against".
The first people who inhabited Pidigan were Tinguians. Most of them lived in some parts of the town called San Diego, Sideg, Sucyo and Caburao for several years. At the time, Pidigan was a dense forest with wildlife that sustained the people. In 1820, Salvador Lago arrived in San Diego, west of the present town of Pidigan. Lago noted that further east was a wider plain and a richer forest where he could get plenty of materials for the construction of houses. He moved to the place, now Pidigan, where he constructed a church and a convent and then baptized the people. Every person male or female from the age 18 to 60 were made to contribute bricks and stones for the projects. All men were also were made to work nearly everyday without pay.
After Pidigan's discovery in 1820, things happened fast. The people organized themselves and elected their first Capitan Bazaar. During the election in December 1823, Pedro Cubing was elected and assumed office on the first day of January 1924. Other officials who succeeded Pedro Cubing were: Felix Cutao (1825), Santiago Basa (1826), Jose Malaap (1827), Bartolome Baoalan (1828), Maximo Baoas (1829), Francisco Serna (1830), Guillermo Tibbaguen (1831), Pablo Ucap (1832), Mariano Gayao (1833), Rosendo Dalangey (1834), Mariano Goraspi (1835), Jose Mangiron (1836), Tomas Ambrosio (1837), Vicente Malana (1838), Nicolas Baga (1839), Pedro Mariano (1840), Benito Legaspi (1841), Santiago Aquino (1842), Oligario Saagamas (1843), Bernardino Cappi (1844), Mariano Balacad (1845), Mariano Molina (1846), Desiderio Bangiao (1847), Pedro Mariano (1848), Macario Luciano (1849), Victor Daganasan (1850), Pedro Mariano (1851-1852), Jose Clemente (1853), Pedro Bernabe (1854), Estanislao Plastina (1855), Mariano Pacamara (1856), Pedro Pastores (1857), Oligario Plastina (1858), Jose Primejo (1859), Arcadio Paradela (1860), Jose Primejo (1861) and Ignacio Pariñas (1862).
In 1863, the Spanish government increased the term of office of the Capitan Bazaar to two years. Pedro Abit was the first elected Capitan Bazaar to serve a 2-year term. He was succeeded by the following: Carlos Pariñas (1856-1866), Justo Perez (1867-68), Marcelo Pilar (1869-1870), Brigido Plastina (1871-72), Pedro Plastina (1872-74), Simon Parunggay (1875-1876), Justo Perez (1877-78), Engracio Bringas (1879-1880), Arcadio Paradela (1881-1882), Bernabe Bose (1883-1884), Juan Bringas (1885-1886), Severo Parinas (1887-1888), Miguel Pariñas (1889-1890), Isidro Bringas (1891-1892), Bernardino Pastores (1893), Esteban Bringas (1894), Isidro Bringas (1895-1897), Ildefonso Natalio (1898) and Gregorio Peralta (1898).
During the month of September 1898, a revolutionary force against the Spaniards under Blas Villamor occupied Pidigan. On December 4, 1899, the American Army arrived and occupied Pidigan. Miguel Pariñas was made Presidente Local. After serving barely a two-year term, Pariñas was succeeded by: Toribio Pariñas (1900-1901), Francisco Pariñas (December 1901), Andres Perlas (September-November 1901) and Severo Pariñas (1902-1903). Thereafter, in 1904, Pidigan was merged with Bangued.
On January 1, 1913, the municipality of Pidigan was organized. The first mayor and vice mayor were Sinforoso Figueras and Clemente Plastina, respectively. On January 4, 1913, the first resolution of the municipal council was to organize the Municipal Police Force of Pidigan with Rosendo Farrales as first Chief of Police.
After the organization of the municipality of Pidigan on January 1, 1913, the persons who served as municipal mayors were: Sinforoso Figueras (1913-1919), Mamerto Bugtong (1919-1922), Tomas Perez (1922-1925), Jeremias Bringas (1925-1931), Felipe Pariñas (1931-1940) and Felix Bringas (1941-1943).
During the outbreak of World War II, Pidigan was among the garrison centers of the Japanese Imperial Forces in Abra. The Japanese forces used school buildings and private large houses as barracks. At the time, Felix Bringas was the incumbent mayor. With the coming of the Japanese, Sinforoso Figueras was installed as mayor from 1943 to 1945.
When Liberation came in 1945, Pidigan was made the temporary seat of the Provincial Government of Abra. The house of Ex-Mayor Jeremias Bringas was used as the Provincial Capitol with Atty. Zacarias Crispin as Military Governor and Mr. Emilio Bringas as appointed Military Mayor up to September 1945. Emilio Bringas was succeeded by: Felix Bringas (September 1945-1946), Felipe Pariñas (1947-1948), Ludovico Anin (1948-1965), Rogel Barber (1965-1967), Isabel Pariñas (1968-1971), Ambrocio Anin (February to December 1971), Juan Dumlao Jr. (1972-1980), Ernesto Pacuno Sr. (1980-1986), Alberto Cabanilla (1986-1987), Emilio Somera Jr. (1987-1988), Ernesto Pacuño, Sr. (1988-1998). The present mayor is Disraeli Pacuño, who will serve until the year 2001.
Originally, Pidigan had 5 barangays. They were: Arab, Induyong, Caburao, Pamutic and San Diego. In an attempt to enhance the economic, social and cultural well-being of the people, the municipality was divided into 15 barangays in 1969. The barangays are: Alinaya, Arab, Poblacion East, Garreta, Immuli, Laskig, Monggoc, Naguirayan, Pamutic, Pangtud, San Diego, Sulbec, Suyo, West Poblacion and Yuyeng.
Pidigan is located on the western part of Abra. It lies within 120°34" to 120°38" longitude to 17°34" to 17°36" latitude. It is bounded on the north by the Abra River and the municipality of Langiden, on the south by the province of Ilocos Sur and the municipality of San Quintin, on the east by the municipality of Bangued and on the west by the municipality of Langiden. It is traversed by the National Highway 6 kms. away from the capital town of Bangued. Topography is generally mountainous and hilly. Some of the known mountains are Mabangco, Marasoso, Pantoc, Naminsiam, Pudao, Kimattokong and Layog. The elevations of these mountains range from 100 meters to 300 meters above sea level, gradually rising from the edge of the plains. Climate falls under the Type I tropical climate characterized by two pronounced seasons - dry and wet. The dry season occurs from November to April while the wet season occurs during the rest of the months. The annual mean rainfall recorded is at its peak during the month of August while the lowest is during the months of January to March. Coldest month is February.
As to land area, Pidigan has a total of 4,915.3411 has., equivalent to 1.2% of the total provincial land area. Among the barangays, Maggoc is the largest while Poblacion East is the smallest.
Based on the 1995 Census of Population, Pidigan has a total population of 9,098, a total number of households of 1,694 with an average household size of 5.37. The population growth rate is 0.61% covering the year 1990-1995. Among the barangays, Alinaya is the most populated with 1,535 while San Diego is the least populated with 330. The major religions include Roman Catholic, Iglesia ni Cristo, Jehovah's Witnesses, Aglipayan and Protestants. The major dialect is Ilocano.
The municipality's main source of livelihood is farming. Agricultural land is 1,955.25 has. out of the total municipal land area of 4,915.3411 has. or an equivalent percentage of 39.18%. Of the total agricultural land area, 269.16 has. is planted to palay, 210 has. planted with corn, 171.10 has. is planted with tobacco, 46 has. planted with vegetables and 15.5 has. with cotton. Irrigated is 450 has. while 261.7 has. are unirrigated. Cropping season in the irrigated areas is twice a year. The carabao is used extensively in plowing the fields. Other livestocks being raised include cattle, horses, swine, poultry, goats and rabbits.
Tourist Attraction and Place of Interest